Meaford turbine public meeting Wednesday

Simcoe.com

Wind Concerns Meaford is inviting concerned residents and the general public to join them at International Power Canada’s upcoming public meeting on its Silcote Corners Wind Project.

The meeting, which takes place at the Meaford and St. Vincent Community Centre on Wednesday, November 17 at 5 p.m., is a part of the mandatory process that International Power Canada must follow before it can obtain final approval for its development from the Ministry of the Environment.

Our goal is to protect the quality of life in our rural community,” said Wind Concerns Meaford’s Founder, Jim Brunow.  “That is why we have made attendance at this meeting a top priority. We want to be assured that industrial wind turbine farm development will not proceed in our rural neighbourhoods without adequate study of the risks and issues already associated with it worldwide. We’ll be asking questions at the meeting and demanding answers. This affects us all. We hope that each and every concerned resident will join us at the meeting,” he said.

Ontario’s Green Energy Act, introduced in 2009, stripped away the rights of individuals and municipalities to have a say on whether they want industrial wind turbine farms in their rural communities. At the same time, the Act has fast-tracked wind farm development, without building in criteria for proper assessment or planning oversight.

Nicholas Schaut, Co-Founder of Wind Concerns Meaford, knows first hand, the adverse impacts of industrial wind turbines. Schaut and his family recently moved to rural Meaford from the Melancthon area where the proposed 25-turbine project quickly burgeoned to 133.

“Some of our neighbours were coming down with a variety of symptoms that worldwide studies have associated with living near wind turbines,” he explains. “Their livestock also got sick. Our property values plummeted. Neighbours quit speaking to each other. Everywhere we looked, turbines were going up. It was devastating. I don’t want to see that happen here. That is why we have to get out to meetings like these and speak up,” he said.

Approximately 4,000 wind turbines have been approved or are awaiting approval in Ontario. Many thousands more are in the initial planning stages. Even the Niagara Escarpment, our Great Lakes Heritage Coast and our UNESCO World Bioshere Reserves are at risk of wind turbine development.

Last Monday, November 8, Meaford council voted in favour of calling for a moratorium on industrial wind turbine farm development (see related story in this issue) until their full impact has been assessed and the health, safety and welfare of the public has been assured.  In doing so, Council joins 66 other municipalities lobbying the Ontario Government for the moratorium.

Wind Concerns Meaford is a volunteer citizens group fighting to protect our rural landscape. For more information, please contact Jim Brunow at 519-538-5874 (jimbrunow@yahoo.ca) or Nicholaus Schaut (bentforks@yahoo.ca) at 519-538-1026.